Fortune Cookie Blog (Herculean Task?)

 

To win the War on Terrorism, we’ll need to usher in a stable, global society.
To accomplish this feat will require heads / hearts harboring ethics, respect,
generosity, love, tolerance and civility; a green hued ecology and economy;
our commitment to end nutritional and intellectual starvation; our declared
cease fire re both gun violence and warfare; a cure for our nuclear insanity.

 

 

 

 

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The Woodstock Nation: RIP? Or just MIA?

From August 15th thru 18th, 1969… while festival goers were reveling within their newly established Bethel, NY, Woodstock Nation… I was stuck at home… back in Michigan… stuck in my early teens, too. The only way I could’ve ever counted myself amongst Woodstock’s estimated 500,000 souls, would’ve been to run away from home, hitchhike and… upon my eventual return… REALLY face the music… a.k.a. parental repercussions / getting “grounded for life”. Bummer! <—Now, there’s a word in desperate need of carbon dating!

Mom and dad’s (understandable) protectionism… in a sense… had already been grounding me… and for doing nothing wrong, too. Over the past half century… just for fleeting moments… I’ve oft wondered. What would I have had to lose had I flown the coup for about a week? Well, here’s what I actually did lose by nearly always being the obedient son: The ability to treasure the lifelong memories of having actually been there.

Of course, even from afar, I did manage to catch this monumental music event’s sense of belonging, anyway. Funny how that sort of “buzz” was fully capable of bridging that 1000km gap. How so?

The Woodstock Nation-State was just as much
a state of mind. And in my mind, it still is.

The Woodstock state of mind does transcend the music, too. From my perspective, it is to believe in enriching society with essential liberty, peace, love, tolerance, equality, inclusiveness, diversity, ecological sensitivity and fiscal sobriety.

But, to transition back to the music… ultimately… I did finally get to hear a portion of what I had missed, thanks to [1] the tireless, audio engineers, who had kept the onsite tape recorders rolling, [2] Cotillion / Atlantic Records for releasing these performances as a 139 minute duration, vinyl triple album on May 11, 1970, and [3] the progressive rock, FM radio DJs, who kept on playing these LPs in heavy rotation. BTW, as a young teen, my parents would not permit me view the R-rated Woodstock motion picture so, to me, this festival had remained heard but not seen.

Eventually, in a manner of speaking, I did get to “time travel” for a virtual visit to Bethel, too! This was courtesy of a local band performing at one of my high school’s Friday night dances. These four musicians covered… no it was much more than that… these showmen had all faithfully recreated Sly & The Family Stone’s Woodstock performance of I Want To Take You Higher. Their frontman’s spirited pep-talk adeptly mimicked / echoed Sly Stone’s style / sentiments. And that energized / encouraged us to shed our inhibitions… to participate in a hip, sing-along where we repeatedly sang / chanted “I want to take you higher”, while enthusiastically, joyously, rhythmically waving our peace sign, gesturing hands high in the air!

Oh, how both the times and crowd mentality have changed these past fifty years. How so?

• Instead of upraised arms to revel in our freedom, lately, within the political arena, we’ve been witnessing arms upraised in thinly veiled salutes to fascism.

• Instead of the index and middle fingered gesture of benevolence / peace… lately, nearly everywhere we look… absent the index finger… this becomes the gesture of malevolence / hatred. And, far worse, within ubiquitous pop up war zones, the index fingers too frequently get routinely repurposed as trigger fingers.

• Instead of chants that take us to a higher plane of existence, currently, rallies become the venue for rowdy crowds to chant “campaign slogans” such as  “Send them back!”, “Send her back!” and “Lock her up!”

But… it’d be a bummer to end this post on such a sad note… especially on the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock.

“I want to take you higher” was / still is Sly Stone’s goal… and mine too…

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Right To Choose: An Evolution? A Revolution?

 

SCENARIO #1 ~ Most intelligent, compassionate folks would have no problem in agreeing that women must have the right to choose… especially when [1] problem pregnancies can involve literal life or death issues for moms-to-be and/or their babies and [2] conceptions can result from non-consensual acts and/or too closely related genetic mergers. Under such tragic, emotionally devastating circumstances, there must be ZERO tolerance for inept, incompetent, ignorant, opportunistic politicians attempting to intrude into what should be the sacrosanct, private, doctor / patient relationship. However…

SCENARIO #2 ~ Even the most enlightened and empathetic of us do start to feel qualms… especially when many other sought-after abortions can be tantamount to an ill-conceived, alternative form of birth control. While there’s no “normal” adult alive who hasn’t experienced that biochemically induced state of mindlessness… been prodded by overactive glands that are egging on recklessness… still one wonders… why some guys find it so hard to muster up a bit of self-control? If a couple cannot even prepare to prevent parenthood… i.e, go on a condom run… just how prepared will they be… oh… say… nine months later? Will their unplanned, unwanted children be unloved and undisciplined? What kind of grown-ups will they become? Will they even be grown-ups in every sense of that hyphenated word? Will they even be able to act kind?

CLEARLY… Scenario #2 is less clear-cut. While… under current conditions… a woman confronted by such a problem pregnancy still must be able to assert her right to choose… CLEARLY… the man could’ve done much more to prevent lighting that 9-month time-bomb fuse and… CLEARLY… humankind can and must do better in the future. And the sooner the better.

Growing up involves far more than gender-specific endocrine glands. Our brains must rule over our bodies and not vice versa. OK, I can already, almost hear the naysayers. “Such an attitudinal shift would likely take multiple generations to complete”… you scoff? “A Herculean Task”… you tsk-tsk?

Even though those are valid points, this does not make them excuses for our not trying. Why can’t we bravely usher in a new era of lifelong, no-nonsense, age-appropriate sex education? We need a Sexual Prime Directive where all biological adults wind up fully understanding that [1] sex makes babies and [2] if one desires the former but not the latter, then consistent usage of reliable birth control becomes a nonnegotiable! For those who find themselves saying, “Well duh… who didn’t know that?” go to the head of the class.

Governments would be both wise and money ahead… were contraception not only readily available but also affordable, perhaps, even totally free of charge! When compared to national welfare programs designed to financially assist impoverished moms and dads, government subsidized birth control might even be deemed a bargain!

To those quick to point out that vending machines loaded with “The Pill” and prophylactics could only encourage rampant promiscuity and result in a raging STD pandemic… I now ask… minus the protection… is that not what we’ve already got?

While such a retort may sound like defeatism, there is some pragmatism in the mix, too. Lest we forget, barrier methods of contraception provide barriers to disease, too. Additionally, might it even be argued that a more responsible, less repressed society would “breed” fewer perverts and predators? Might there even be a bit of truth to / a practical application of that Sixties era hippie mantra, “Make Love Not War”? Given a choice between a worldwide orgy and a worldwide nuclear war, which would you consider the lesser of two evils?

While portions of that above paragraph do sound, perhaps, a tad over the top, there is an undercurrent of truth, too.

Naturally, living life in moderation is the phrase that really pays. And more to the point… both love and respect must factor prominently into the big picture.

If we can establish a society where unprotected sex is virtually unheard of, then, with very few exceptions, only those who want babies will be procreating. Beyond that…

Governments would be both wise and money ahead, too… in ensuring that raising children would also become far more affordable. That… in itself… could help substantially reduce the demand for abortion… i.e., when fretting, prospective parents would no longer ditto agreement to this all too common, forlorn sentiment…

“Honey, we simply cannot afford another mouth to feed.”

Working towards that new beginning, each nation would need to establish a stable economy where even the entry level, full time workers would be earning a living wage… enjoying a pay level that’d even allow either the new mommy or daddy to become a stay-at-home parent until their child becomes a preschooler / kindergartner. Maybe even beyond that point?

Of course, even an improved society could never, fully liberate itself of unplanned pregnancies. True, it’s far too easy for me… a man who can never experience pregnancy… who has never even fathered any children… to say this… but maybe… just maybe my proposed, futuristic, attitudinal shift towards unequivocal male and female sexual responsibility could be inclusive of a woman’s new, enhanced right to choose… i.e., to choose going the adoption route rather than opt-in to abortion?

Do all of these changes sound too idealistic to ever become reality? Should I re-categorize this post as fiction? Let me know what you’re thinking and feeling in the comment section below…

 

 

It’s a Beautiful Sunday

For the past three weekends, I’ve been posting Sunday Songs to start out each week. Since we’re now on a roll, let’s keep this theme going for as long as possible…

Let’s give a listen to the feel good, romantic, toe tapping Beautiful Sunday… released in March 1972… sung and performed by the UK’s Daniel Boone (a.k.a. Peter Lee Stirling, and a.k.a. by his birth name: Peter Charles Green). Of course, owing to the featured track… he also shares the generic nickname… “one hit wonder”… with countless other recording artists throughout musical recorded history.

Little doubt, Beautiful Sunday’s reputation does precede my posting it here. Some Google search netted fun facts tell us this song has, indeed, been quite the globetrotter.

Check out the following, charting history rundown. Now quoting and paraphrasing from Wikipedia passages we learn that…

In New Zealand Beautiful Sunday achieved gold record status and in Argentina, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, and Germany it held the #1 position from May 1972 to late June 1972. In Japan the song is still the best selling single by a foreign artist.

All the above considered… it’s entirely possible that the playback, here, won’t be the first time you’ve heard it. In fact, if you’re Scottish, you may’ve even Slosh Danced to it… i.e., seeing how This Selection is commonly played at wedding receptions.

Additionally, such international appeal does tie in wonderfully… naturally… since whatever gets posted here @WordPress can and does wind up touching minds and hearts worldwide.

With Beautiful Sunday also mind melding with oodles of mega-talented YouTube videographers, picking just one video to top off this post wasn’t easy. To be sure, there were so many winners, I’ve opted to include several bonus linked tracks. For those of you so inclined, you can head over to YouTube to view Beautiful Sunday’s Autumnal Scenes, Earthly Splendors… and maybe even go for a Sunday Drive!

As for what, exactly, made the above, blog topping video clip win over my heart? That would be the romantic and scenic imagery throughout and the words of wisdom, which appear during the PB’s concluding moments (starting at time index 2:45). Such fast clipping by sentiments are too profound to let slip away unnoticed, ergo, I’m providing the text, too…

“Three things you cannot recover in life, the WORD after it’s said, the MOMENT after it’s missed, and the TIME after it’s gone.”

There’s also a concluding passage, which today’s clip did not include… so… let’s check out that wisdom, too. This is sage advice to carry forth from this Sunday, throughout the entire week and into all of our Sundays to follow…

“So CHOOSE your words wisely, EMBRACE every moment you have with those you love, and NEVER waste time arguing over things that will not matter in the last 5 minutes of your life.”

 

A Walk Through the Land of Broken Dreams…

What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted serves as both song title and question posed to us all. We are invited to traipse alongside singer Jimmy Ruffin and song composers James Anthony Dean, Paul Riser and William Henry Witherspoon as… together… we walk through the land of broken dreams.

With each subsequent, soulfully, dolefully sung lyrical couplet, memories of our own failed interpersonal relationships are inevitable. Caring souls, everywhere, can relive and relate to the universal feelings of loss… identify with those tearstained, heavyhearted moments from our past.

Several days ago, while playing back this Sixties era, Motown musical masterpiece / classic, I realized that… as is true with all superbly crafted poetry… these lyrics cast their spell on more than one level.

The addressed feelings of emotional distress are not unlike what transpires following the actual death of a loved one… even the death of one’s country… the death of Lady Liberty.

Indeed, patriotism… the love of one’s homeland… is no different.

And what description more aptly sums up the breakup of our relationships with our present-day, troubled world… indeed, the breakup of my relationship with my ideologically fractured, broken down homeland… other than “the land of broken dreams”… the end of the American Dream?

While my love of country has not wavered in the least and I’ve always sensed that my country has loved me in return (well… at least up until January 20, 2017), there IS a diabolical political force afoot and his wicked intent is to make damned sure that my love… my compatriots’ love… shall forever remain unrequited.

In a sense, America’s oppressor is not unlike a narrow-minded, stone hearted, selfish, egotistical, domineering father figure who… just to ensure relationships never blossom between suitors and his daughter, Lady Liberty… imprisons, shackles and gags her in the depths of his dingy, dank, stone walled and iron barred dungeon.

To extend this… he does so just to prevent patriotic love relationships between country and countrywomen / countrymen.

“Daddy” is flat out denying us all the opportunity to experience sweet Libby’s delightful aspect… the freedom gleaming in her eyes, the warmth of her welcoming smile… her soft whispers of unconditional patriotic love.

I can only hope that you, my international readers, are never forced to share in my anguish… in all true Americans’ anguish… experience our heavy hearts and eyes welled up with tears.

And folks… to now quote Dean, Riser and Witherspoon… “I can’t stand this pain much longer!”

 

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Since in our online lives there can be breakups with / breakdowns to musical links, I’m also including a more enduring presentation of these compelling song lyrics which have now… at least for me… taken on a even deeper meaning. Maybe you feel the same way, too?

 

What Becomes of the Broken Hearted

Songwriters: James Anthony Dean / Paul Riser / William Henry Witherspoon

 

 

 

As I walk this land of broken dreams
I have visions of many things
But happiness is just an illusion
Filled with sadness and confusion

What becomes of the broken-hearted
Who had love that’s now departed?
I know I’ve got to find
Some kind of peace of mind
Maybe

The roots of love grow all around
But for me they come a-tumblin’ down
Every day heartaches grow a little stronger
I can’t stand this pain much longer

I walk in shadows searching for light
Cold and alone, no comfort in sight
Hoping and praying for someone who’ll care
Always moving and goin’ nowhere

What becomes of the broken-hearted
Who had love that’s now departed?
I know I’ve got to find
Some kind of peace of mind
Help me please

I’m searching, though I don’t succeed
For someone’s love there’s a growing need
All is lost, there’s no place for beginning
All that’s left is an unhappy ending

Now, what becomes of the broken-hearted
Who have love that’s now departed?
I know I’ve got to find
Some kind of peace of mind
I’ll be searching everywhere
Just to find someone to care
I’ll be looking everyday, I know I’m gonna find a way
Nothing’s gonna stop me now
I’ll find a way somehow
And I’ll be searching everywhere
I know I gotta find a way
I’ll be looking

 

 

A WordPress Renaissance Woman ~ Vid of the Day

WordPress denizens are fully aware of what a truly amazing experience “living here” can be. We get the golden opportunity to freely express ourselves each and every time we key in our login data. Even better… for those of us fortunate enough… our visits can and do go way beyond the words. In other words…

We can count our lucky stars whenever transcendental experiences materialize before our very eyes and ears… when cloaked within the vast sea of cyberspace… we discover true star power.

Such is the talent of piano virtuoso… Ms. Lori D. Marchell Carlsen. From her YouTube and WordPress websites, I’ve copied and pasted (below) the backstory to her (above featured) seven movement masterpiece…

“My Copyrighted Original Piano Music entitled C-13 Sonata inspired by 1 Corinthians 13 about Love, the Universal Language. This was composed throughout one summer many years ago. I would love to see it orchestrated. It was during a very difficult ‘dark night in the soul’ in my life, so the victories seventh movement brings the importance of remaining diligent in honoring our heart paramount in my life. Please feel free to share it with others, and thank-you for your kind comments and following my blog!”

Since I cannot think of a better testimonial / finale, I’ll also copy and paste my posted WordPress reply to her comment…

“Your talents as a classical pianist and composer are extraordinary. I’d wholeheartedly echo your wish for a full orchestral arrangement of your masterpiece. Your vid’s accompanying photos / paintings are impressive, too. I hope you can hear my virtual applause and chants of bravo! Bravo!! BRAVO!!! and encore! Encore!! ENCORE!!!”

With Renaissance woman Lori’s creativity being self-evident… as limitless as the cosmos itself… do I even need to recommend the following? OK… I will…

Visit Ms. Marchell Carlsen’s WordPress Site… tune into her YouTube Channel and… of course… be sure to subscribe to and follow/friend this mega / multitalented pianist, artist and published author, too.

 

 

BlogCast ~ Our Pleas For Peace, Love & Understanding

 

So glad you’ve been able to safely and sanely survive the holiday rush and, yet, find some time to spend here for our holiday get-together.

Giving credit where credit is due, my thanks to Elvis Costello because a portion of one of his song titles inspired my blog title. My undying thanks and mega-kudos to all the YouTube recording artists, videograhphers and contributors who have cast their creative, brilliance upon my Holiday BlogCast. Obviously, my show could not glow without YOU!

Since this DJ’s philosophy is to let the music speak for itself, we’ll get to the music shortly. However, I could not resist briefly sharing with you the backstory of this program’s grand finale track.

While performing my musical reconnaissance over @ YouTube, I thought to myself…

 

Gee… I sure wish someone would do a mash up of Joy To The World with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ode To Joy

 

Well… what did I have to lose? I typed in those search parameters and… Lo and Behold… a passing thought of mine materialized right before my very ears and eyes. The Magic of the Season! My Christmas wish came true!

May the Magic of the Season and your Christmas / Holiday wishes come true, too! And may my song selections be music to your ears.

 

The two sides to a long distance relationship…

 

The Carpenters ~ Merry Christmas Darling

Al Martino ~ I’ll Be Home For Christmas

 

Our heartfelt pleas for harmony, tolerance and peace…

 

Bryan Adams ~ Christmas Time

Josh Groban ~ Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

 

Our Ode To Joy / Joy To The World best wishes…

 

The Florin Street Band ~ My Favourite Time of Year

The Piano Guys ~ Ode To Joy To The World (With Choir & Bell Ringers)

I thank you for your listenership and cordially invite you to check out the remainder of my Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas… where I’ll be presenting select holiday classics… one-a-day… from now until we reach #1 on the 25th. I’ll be posting later today and, of course, tomorrow.

You’re also cordially invited to click back here for my regular monthly BlogCast… one that typically features anywhere from 3 to 5 songs that, when segued, transform everything into an appealing theme… this program slated to hit the www “airwaves” on Monday, January 1, 2018.

Till next time…

 

I wish you all the best life has to offer throughout the holidays…

and in all the years to come!

 

FYI, my past musical presentations are archived within my BlogCast and music categories.

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